Accelerated Masters | Computer Science | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Engineering, Computing, Technology, and Mathematics

Accelerated Masters in Computer Science

Accelerated BS-MS Degree in Computer Science

The Accelerated BS-MS Degree program allows motivated and high-achieving undergraduate students to complete a program leading to a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science degree in Computer Science in five years. During the junior year, a student working with a faculty advisor will develop a program of study consistent with the student’s interests and goals.

To complete this five-year plan, 141 credit hours of study is required. Nine credit hours are awarded to both the undergraduate and graduate degree. Twenty-one additional hours of graduate level courses (400- and 500-level) are required to fulfill the graduate degree. At least 50% of the total 30 credit hours of the graduate degree must be at the 500-level.


Admission Criteria

The program will attract high achieving undergraduate students with a minimum 3.00 GPA in all coursework and minimum 3.25 GPA in Computer Science coursework. Second semester juniors and seniors would be required to submit transcripts and other information; statement of career objectives, résumé, and at least two letters of recommendation. In keeping with current Master’s requirements, GRE scores will not be required.

Outline of Curriculum

Under the guidance of a faculty advisor a student of at least junior status will develop a program of study consistent with the student’s interest and goals. By this time the student would have completed a history of performance in both lower and upper division coursework and is likely considering career alternatives. Junior status would also allow transfer students from both community colleges and other four-year institutions to compete for admission to the accelerated program. As envisioned the accelerated program would require 141 credit hours to complete. Nine credit hours of 400-level course work would be double counted toward an undergraduate and Master’s degree. Twenty-one credit hours would be taken after the completion of the 120 hours required for graduation. The completion of 120 hours would allow a student to opt-out of the accelerated program and receive an undergraduate degree if a job offer or other considerations materialized.

Students in the accelerated degree program would have to meet any specific course requirements of the CS MS degree, currently six hours in each of three computer science categories: Computer Science Theory, Software Development/Engineering, and Computing Systems Technologies. They would also have to meet the 500-level course requirements of the Graduate School (at least 50% of the hours of graduate work must be at the 500-level). If a student believes they need to take a course from another academic unit at the University in order to gain specific knowledge for their thesis or project work, they must request approval from the Graduate Program Director prior to registering for such a course. The request must include an explanation of why the course is necessary for their program. Approval will be granted only if the justification is deemed adequate. No more than three hours of credit toward the 30-hour requirement will be given, and such courses must be at the 400- or 500-level only.

The CS MS degree has both a Thesis and Non-Thesis option. Students in the Accelerated BS-MS Degree program would be allowed to pursue either option.